By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God (1 John 4:2).
If there is one vast difference between true Christianity and all other religions in the world, it is the claim that our leader, Jesus Christ, was and is actually God incarnate (in the flesh). This is what sets Christianity far and above every other religion. All other religions start from the point of man at the center of all things, and then trying to erect Babel-like towers up to God.
Christianity is the only religion in which God reaches down to man by becoming a man. It is the doctrine of the incarnation which actually condemns all other religions because through the person and work of Jesus Christ, a way is actually forged for us by Christ to the Father. When leaders of other religions shut the door on Christ by denying who He is, they shut the door of salvation. They are telling the Father that His provision of salvation through His Son is not good enough. In their pride and arrogance, they believe that they have a better way back to the Father, or to ethereal bliss. They are telling the Father they do not need His Son.
It is interesting that Jesus spoke a few parables along these lines (where the people rejected the King’s son) and it never fared well for them in the end. They incurred God’s eternal wrath and punishment.
But there is more to the incarnation than the fact that it ruins so many well-meaning religions. Through it, we see the richness of God’s love because He set about to satisfy His wrath against us. Instinctively all mankind knows that we fall short of God’s glory and deserve His wrath: hence mankind comes up with all kinds of religions to deal with His wrath. The false prophet, on one level, is seeking to somehow approach God on his own terms in order to deal with that wrath. But most false prophets never realize that they are already condemned before they started because they are rejecting the One who deals with the wrath they are trying to escape.
We see God’s love in that Christ is the provision He has made for us when it comes to God’s wrath. This is why the babe in the manger is so glorious. The One that came in the flesh, is actually the One who created the heavens and the earth. Jesus, in His preincarnate state, uttered the words “let there be light.” He was the One who gave us life and breath. He is the One who holds all things together (Colossians 1:16). He is the One who saves His people (Matthew 1:11). In the process of history, mankind rebelled against God and fell into sin. Yet, the One who gave us life to begin with, knowing that we would fall, came to save us. He came in the flesh to deal with what we cannot deal with.
No other religious leader can make such claims. In fact, when you look into the lives of other religious leaders, you find that they were heinous sinners like the rest of us. They were liars, deceivers, murderers, extortioners, god-haters, lovers of money and the self, all the fruits of Satan rolled up into one.
For instance, if you look into the life of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of that stupidity known as Christian Science, you will find that she was a plagiarizer. Her so called revelations from God, known as Science and Health with Keys to the Scriptures, were taking from her former mentor P. Phineas Quimby, a literal snake-oil salesman. Eddy told the lie that she “discovered” the truth of Christian Science when she slipped and fell on the ice, while on her evening walk. According to her testimony, she was near death. Then, in the middle of the night, a spirit came upon her and she “discovered” the truths behind her religion.
The problem with her “discovery” is that there was a medical doctor involved. The medical doctor who examined her later reported that she was nowhere near death, and would be just fine. So she lied about her miraculous healing. She also lied about Christ, denying that the God-Man is both fully God and fully human. She lied about the incarnation, denying that the two natures became One. In essence, she denied Jesus for who He is, thereby leading her followers to destruction. There is nothing good in her fruits.
This is how it goes for all the claims of all religious leaders, except Jesus Christ, showing the necessity of the gospel. Jesus had to be fully God, so that He could bear up under the weight of the Father’s wrath on our behalf, paying for our sin. He had to be fully man in order to represent us on the cross and make atonement for our sin. This combination is unique to Christianity alone in that the God who shows us our sin, is also the One who rescues us. The religions of man seek to rescue themselves and fail miserably.
You have heard it said that all roads lead to the same place. And this is true, all man-made roads lead to hell because none of them deal with man’s sin. But Jesus, the God-Man, changed that. He came in the flesh, fully God and fully man, to offer another way. That way comes by belief in Him for salvation. He is the Provider. He is the One that makes salvation possible. It is His uniqueness that makes it possible. It is His uniqueness that sets Christianity above and beyond all the religions of man.
The incarnation is one of the reasons that Christianity is far superior to any other religion, and is part of the series coming out of the post Ten Reasons Christianity is far Superior Than Any Other Religion. I have also written on the fact that the leaders of all other religions need Christ for their own salvation, and that Jesus is the only religious leader to be risen from the dead, thereby authenticating His earthly ministry, work, claims and sacrifice on the cross.